A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities

HCFA Recommendations to Health Care Bill Conference Committee

With both the House and Senate having passed ambitious health care bills this session, now a joint House-Senate conference committee is hammering out the differences to reconcile the two bills for final passage. Health Care For All recently provided comments to the legislature on our recommendations for provisions  to reduce health care costs, protect consumers, and strengthen our state’s health care system. While Massachusetts has the highest insurance coverage rate in the country, there is still progress to be made to improve the quality and affordability of health care in the Commonwealth... Read more »

2018 Democracy School: Building Health Care Power in Immigrant Communities

On Saturday, April 14th, in what seemed to be a precursor to the Boston Marathon, members of the Immigrant Healthcare Access Coalition (IHAC) steering committee completed their own long distance event – they ran the 2018 Democracy School: Building Health Care Power in Immigrant Communities. This training was part of a coordinated, on-going effort to inform immigrants and the groups that serve them about their health care rights. The training also aimed to dispel the growing fear and mistrust within immigrant communities that is preventing many individuals and families from seeking the health... Read more »

Health Disparities Bill Advances in State Legislature

Yesterday,  the legislature's Committee on Health Care Financing approved  H. 2048 / S. 608 An Act to eliminate racial and ethnic health disparities in the Commonwealth. The bill now goes to the House Ways and Means Committee. Its lead sponsors include Representatives Jeffrey Sánchez and Byron Rushing, and Senator Jason Lewis. Health Care For All has long supported this legislation ever since we helped draft the original bill in 2009 with a broad coalition of disparities advocates in our Disparities Action Network. Read more »

Two Bills Each Pass One Branch - Health Disparities; and No Shackling of Pregnant Prisoners

Two important bills each passed one branch of the state legislature last week. Now it's up to the other branch to finish the job. First is legislation addressing racial and ethnic health disparities. On March 20, H. 3888 passed the House and was sent to the Senate. Read more »

FY19 Health Care Senate Budget Amendments Review

Just last week, the Massachusetts Senate released their budget proposal for fiscal year 2019, which begins on July 1 of this year. Senators will be debating and voting on many amendments in the short term, including a number of important health care related amendments.  HCFA is supporting a number of amendments that will improve access to affordable and quality health care coverage; there are also some proposed amendments we oppose that would move our state backwards. With debate in the Senate starting, it is critical that your Senator knows how constituents feel about these critical health... Read more »

Massachusetts Study: Meal Programs Can Reduce Health Costs

  Good health for Massachusetts families is about more than access to traditional medical care. The social determinants of health (SDOH) – factors such as food insecurity, lack of affordable housing, transportation barriers, limited access to well-paying jobs, and exposure to violence – contribute to poor health outcomes, drive up health care costs, and create health inequities across race and income. Read more »

HCFA Among Health and Civic Leaders Seeking to Extend Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund

Health Care For All is among more than 200 health and social service organizations and leaders who signed on to a letter yesterday requesting the reauthorization of the Prevention & Wellness Trust Fund (PWTF) before the funding expires in June of 2017.  The PWTF was established by the legislature in 2012 as a part of Chapter 224 with the aim of reducing health care costs by investing in prevention for chronic conditions like diabetes and asthma. Services supported by this Fund are available to nearly one million Massachusetts residents in all areas of the state through nine community... Read more »

House Passes Bill Creating Office of Health Equity

The Massachusetts House of Representatives today took a major step to address health disparities by passing legislation creating an Office of Health Equity. The bill passed by an overwhelming 152 to 4 vote. The bill (H. 3969) has been a long-time priority for Health Care For All. It creates an Office of Health Equity within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS), charged with creating an annual plan for the elimination of health disparities in Massachusetts and working with other state agencies, including agencies dealing with housing, transportation, public safety and... Read more »

Still More To Do: Blue Cross Foundation Report Shows Public Coverage In Mass Not As Good As Private [Updated]

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation released a report authored by Sharon K. Long and Thomas H. Dimmock of the Urban Institute that analyzes the 2013 Massachusetts Reform Survey by comparing the experience of adults with employer-sponsored insurance coverage (ESI) to adults with public coverage, mostly MassHealth, but some with Connector-sponsored coverage. Read more »

Two Upcoming Meetings: Western Mass Health Equity Summit; and MPHA Annual Meeting

Two wothwhile events coming up: First up, this Thursday, is the Western Massachusetts Health Equity Summit:  Read more »

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